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y separately published work icon Half a Lifetime single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 1999... 1999 Half a Lifetime
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In this luminous memoir, Judith Wright takes the reader on an intimate journey into the first half of her life. She tells how her stern forebears became prominent pastoralists in northern New South Wales, and describes with stunning clarity the landscapes she grew up in.'

'She remembers her first encounters with words and the emergence of her consciousness of self. She movingly describes her mother’s death. And she recounts her resolution to escape from this world she loved in order to be free.'

'In Brisbane during the war Wright met Jack McKinney, a philosopher who became her lover, and her intellectual companion in her commitment to the environment, the rights of Aboriginal people, and the possibility of leading a just life.'

'Half a Lifetime includes a number of Wright’s best-loved poems, and many never before published photographs. Sensuous, honest and intelligent, this is an unforgettable autobiography by a great Australian writer.'

Notes

  • Includes thirteen verse indexed separately.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,:Text Publishing , 1999 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Old Housei"Where now outside the weary house the pepperina,", Judith Wright , 1951 single work poetry (p. 1-2)
Reminiscencei"I was born into a coloured country:", Judith Wright , 1973 single work poetry (p. 27-28)
South of My Daysi"South of my days' circle, part of my blood's country,", Judith Wright , 1945 single work poetry (p. 55-56)
The Childi"To be alone in a strange place in spring", Judith Wright , 1946 single work poetry (p. 81-82)
Wedding Photograph, 1913i"Ineloquent, side by side, this country couple", Judith Wright , 1971 single work poetry (p. 101-102)
The Company of Loversi"We meet and part now over all the world;", Judith Wright , 1942 single work poetry war literature (p. 129-130)
Sonneti"Now let the draughtsman of my eyes be done", Judith Wright , 1944 single work poetry (p. 159-160)
Woman to Mani"The eyeless labourer in the night,", Judith Wright , 1946 single work poetry (p. 183-184)
Songi"When cries aloud the bird of night", Judith Wright , 1953 single work poetry (p. 213-214)
The Flame-Treei"How to live, I said, as the flame-tree lives?", Judith Wright , 1953 single work poetry (p. 237-238)
Nameless Floweri"Three white petals float", Judith Wright , 1953 single work poetry (p. 269-270)
Lake in Springi"The shallow reaches of the lake", Judith Wright , 1973 single work poetry (p. 287-288)
At Cooloolahi"The blue crane fishing in Cooloolah's twilight", Judith Wright , 1954 single work poetry At Lake Cooloolah At Cooloola (p. 293-294)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 1999 .
      image of person or book cover 1382632156392175799.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 296p., [16]p. of platesp.
      Description: illus. ports.
      ISBN: 187648506X, 1876485787 (pbk), 1876485388, 9781876485061
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2001 .
      Extent: 296p., [16]p. of platesp.
      Description: illus., ports.
      ISBN: 1876485787 (pbk.)

Works about this Work

‘Sorry, above All, That I Can Make Nothing Right’ : Public Apology in Judith Wright Bridget Vincent , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , May no. 61 2017;

'Since the middle of the twentieth century, the phenomenon of public apology has become increasingly prevalent and visible, enacted in contexts ranging from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission to the Australian government’s apology to the Stolen Generation, to the iconic genuflection of Willy Brandt before the Warsaw Ghetto Monument. While research surrounding public apology (particularly in the context of work on trauma, memory and reconciliation) has also become increasing prevalent, literary representations of public apology remain under-researched. Works like J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999) and Gail Jones’ Sorry (2007) present something of a scholarly conundrum. In the final historical and cultural assessment of public apologies, how are imaginative representations of apologies to be understood? Do they participate in the apologising process, or do they simply describe it? What implications does a judgement either way hold for scholarship on the larger relations between art and civic life? This paper finds a way into some of these large questions by considering the specific case of Judith Wright and the forms of literary redress she made to Indigenous Australians. ' (Introduction)

Emily Carr and Judith Wright : Bearing Witness through Art, Autobiography and Friendship Anne Collett , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Recent Trends in Canadian Studies 2010; (p. 98-119)
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Colonial Girl: Emily Carr and Judith Wright Anne Collett , Dorothy Jones , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Journal of Commonwealth Literature , vol. 44 no. 3 2009; (p. 51-67)
In their autobiographical writing, painter Emily Carr and poet Judith Wright record a remarkably similar experience of how growing up in colonial/postcolonial Canada and Australia shaped them as artists. Although each identified strongly with the region of her birth, and felt a deep love of its landscape, issues of belonging preoccupied both women from childhood on as they negotiated their place within the family, the immediate society and the nation. Neither could fully conform to family expectations, nor comply with the restrictions society sought to impose on them as artists and each actively sought, or else found herself cast in, an outsider role. Carr and Wright's self portraits each have something in common with James Joyce's representation of Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as an insider/outsider figure who seeks to escape the confining networks of nation and society, only to find himself thoroughly entangled in them.
Hugging the Shore : The Green Mountains of South-East Queensland Ruth Blair , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Littoral Zone : Australian Contexts and Their Writers 2007; (p. 176-197)
Extrapolating from their observations of the relationship between the Blue Mountains and the New South Wales coastline, David Foster and Martin Thomas have concluded that the sea and the mountains represent a 'fundamental divide in the mental geography of Australia'. The south-east Queensland coast presents a different experience of the relationship between sea and mountains. Here, from northern New South Wales to Noosa, north of Brisbane, the mountains, clearly visible from ocean, bay, and shore, are an intrinsic part of the coastal experience. This chapter looks at some writing about two of the coastal mountains with substantial national park areas: Lamington and Tamborine. It considers how writing about these areas reflects on the process of engagement with the natural world, the process by which settlers become dwellers, and the particular understanding of our place in the world that can evolve out of the experience of 'the frontiers between the wild and the cultivated'. (from The Littoral Zone)
Transcending Womanliness Sylvia Martin , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , vol. 12 no. 1 2000;

— Review of Half a Lifetime Judith Wright , 1999 single work autobiography
Paperbacks Debra Adelaide , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 15 April 2000; (p. 12)

— Review of Bridge of Triangles John Muk Muk Burke , 1994 single work novel ; Half a Lifetime Judith Wright , 1999 single work autobiography
Landscape of a Heart Kerryn Goldsworthy , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 21-22 August 1999; (p. 11)

— Review of Half a Lifetime Judith Wright , 1999 single work autobiography
A Poetic Life of Commitment Fiona Capp , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 28 August 1999; (p. 11)

— Review of Half a Lifetime Judith Wright , 1999 single work autobiography
Answering Love Mark Thomas , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 28 August 1999; (p. 21)

— Review of Half a Lifetime Judith Wright , 1999 single work autobiography
The Wright Half Patricia Rolfe , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 7 September vol. 117 no. 6190 1999; (p. 108)

— Review of Half a Lifetime Judith Wright , 1999 single work autobiography
Hugging the Shore : The Green Mountains of South-East Queensland Ruth Blair , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Littoral Zone : Australian Contexts and Their Writers 2007; (p. 176-197)
Extrapolating from their observations of the relationship between the Blue Mountains and the New South Wales coastline, David Foster and Martin Thomas have concluded that the sea and the mountains represent a 'fundamental divide in the mental geography of Australia'. The south-east Queensland coast presents a different experience of the relationship between sea and mountains. Here, from northern New South Wales to Noosa, north of Brisbane, the mountains, clearly visible from ocean, bay, and shore, are an intrinsic part of the coastal experience. This chapter looks at some writing about two of the coastal mountains with substantial national park areas: Lamington and Tamborine. It considers how writing about these areas reflects on the process of engagement with the natural world, the process by which settlers become dwellers, and the particular understanding of our place in the world that can evolve out of the experience of 'the frontiers between the wild and the cultivated'. (from The Littoral Zone)
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Colonial Girl: Emily Carr and Judith Wright Anne Collett , Dorothy Jones , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Journal of Commonwealth Literature , vol. 44 no. 3 2009; (p. 51-67)
In their autobiographical writing, painter Emily Carr and poet Judith Wright record a remarkably similar experience of how growing up in colonial/postcolonial Canada and Australia shaped them as artists. Although each identified strongly with the region of her birth, and felt a deep love of its landscape, issues of belonging preoccupied both women from childhood on as they negotiated their place within the family, the immediate society and the nation. Neither could fully conform to family expectations, nor comply with the restrictions society sought to impose on them as artists and each actively sought, or else found herself cast in, an outsider role. Carr and Wright's self portraits each have something in common with James Joyce's representation of Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as an insider/outsider figure who seeks to escape the confining networks of nation and society, only to find himself thoroughly entangled in them.
Emily Carr and Judith Wright : Bearing Witness through Art, Autobiography and Friendship Anne Collett , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Recent Trends in Canadian Studies 2010; (p. 98-119)
Courageous Poet Pricks a Nation's Conscience Jennifer Moran , 1999 single work column biography
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 14 September 1999; (p. 5)
‘Sorry, above All, That I Can Make Nothing Right’ : Public Apology in Judith Wright Bridget Vincent , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , May no. 61 2017;

'Since the middle of the twentieth century, the phenomenon of public apology has become increasingly prevalent and visible, enacted in contexts ranging from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission to the Australian government’s apology to the Stolen Generation, to the iconic genuflection of Willy Brandt before the Warsaw Ghetto Monument. While research surrounding public apology (particularly in the context of work on trauma, memory and reconciliation) has also become increasing prevalent, literary representations of public apology remain under-researched. Works like J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999) and Gail Jones’ Sorry (2007) present something of a scholarly conundrum. In the final historical and cultural assessment of public apologies, how are imaginative representations of apologies to be understood? Do they participate in the apologising process, or do they simply describe it? What implications does a judgement either way hold for scholarship on the larger relations between art and civic life? This paper finds a way into some of these large questions by considering the specific case of Judith Wright and the forms of literary redress she made to Indigenous Australians. ' (Introduction)

Last amended 20 May 2015 12:40:22
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